It won’t be hard to fall in love with Madrid. Located in the heart of Spain, this capital city is especially unique because it has an urban pace and is well-known for its rich artistic, political, and business culture.
Our program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain and the large urban university environment of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country’s most distinguished universities.
Our Center is located on the UCM campus, and this program strives to immerse you in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, and housing choices. Several field trips take you beyond the city limits to sites of historic and contemporary interest.
Madrid will also be your classroom. Whether visiting one of Madrid’s many art galleries or museums, learning about Spanish culture by taking in a film by one of Spain’s up-and-coming filmmakers, or simply strolling around the city and enjoying the warm climate in one of the city’s many parks, you will be captivated by Madrid’s vibrancy. Welcome to study abroad!
We want you to feel at home in Madrid, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Madrid. Beyond the classroom, IES Abroad offers many internship placements in a variety of organizations to help you gain career experience and get to know the local culture.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Students enrolled in partner university courses are required to depart IES Abroad housing 24 hours after their last final exam. Final exam schedules are not available until students are on-site. It is recommended that students purchase airline tickets with open-ended or flexible return date policies.
if enrolled ONLY in IES Abroad courses
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer unique courses that explore Spanish Language, and Area Studies, through an in-depth and hands-on approach.
Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You take 15–19 credits per semester and all courses are worth three credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in Spanish.
You craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
Language Certificates for Advanced Students
As an added benefit at no additional cost, IES Abroad Madrid also offers preparation courses for advanced Spanish language students for examinations sponsored by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and government that lead to a certificate. These Certificates of Foreign Language are the most prestigious awards for Spanish language skills and will enhance your resume.
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Enrolling in courses at a local university is a great way to meet Spanish students and improve your language skills. You are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one local course.
Universidad Complutense de Madrid www.ucm.es
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is the largest university in Spain and one of the best public universities in the country. Registering for courses at UCM enables you to enjoy full privileges of the school’s activities and facilities.
Courses are available at the following faculties:
When planning, take into account that IES Abroad students are not permitted to take:
When choosing your courses, bear in mind that some classes offered by the local university are academic year courses, starting in October and ending in June. Semester students cannot take these academic year courses. Students will receive 3 credits for each course taken at the Complutense. Academic year students who take annual classes will receive 6 credits.
Complutense Final Exams
In the fall, official UCM exams take place through the end of February; IES Abroad students must arrange to take exams early (mid-December) at the time of course registration and subject to professor approval.
Spring students enrolled in UCM courses may not arrange for early exams and will need to stay through early June to complete courses and final exams.
Universidad Francisco de Vitoria www.ufv.es
The Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV) is a small, private school that focuses on media communications courses with a laboratory or practicum component. Courses focus on obtaining hands-on experience, and the school has a film studio, radio station, and advanced computer and video equipment.
Courses are available in the following disciplines.
For a complete list of course offerings at UFV, please visit the UFV website.
Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it will not be possible for you to officially register until your arrival in Madrid; however you will need to refer to current course offerings in order to pre-register as part of your application.
Escuela Cerámica de la Moncloa
The Escuela Cerámica de la Moncloa (ECM) is part of an educational initiative sponsored by the government of Madrid. It is an independent educational institution that offers a series of classes and learning opportunities. IES Abroad partners with ECM to offer students AR3000 Cerámica, a unique course in ceramic making and techniques.
AR3000 Cerámica_Spanish.pdfAR3000 Cerámica_English.pdf
While adding study abroad to your résumé is impressive enough, adding an international internship is even more powerful, and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market.
Here are just some of the ways your internship will set you apart:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. Participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Placement examples include:
IES Abroad Madrid organizes field study trips that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Spanish culture and society. Past field study excursions include:
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Madrid, it will feel like home.
Homestay – Live in Spanish homes with señoras or families and eat breakfast and one additional meal per day (either lunch or dinner) with your hosts when the program is in session. In many cases, more than one IES Abroad student is placed with a señora or family. Commute time to the Center varies between 15 and 45 minutes.
Homestay with Kitchen Privileges – if you are interested in a homestay but prefer to purchase your own food and prepare your own meals, you may wish to consider this option. If you choose this option, you receive a meal credit. A very limited number of these placements are available. Commute time to the Center varies between 15 and 45 minutes.
Apartment – Share apartments located in residential areas near the IES Abroad Madrid center. Apartments are furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen. Utilities, regular cleaning, and wireless internet access are included. Space is limited, and meals are not included. Commute time to the Center varies between 15 and 25 minutes.
Residence Hall/Colegio Mayor – Colegios Mayores are dormitories located on the campus of UCM and throughout the city. This housing option includes up to 20 meals per week in student cafeterias.
This housing option is ideal for outgoing students with a high level of Spanish language who are prepared to integrate into local, more traditional student culture, participate in Colegio activities, and who are willing to abide by the rules of the Colegio. This housing option is limited and requires an additional fee.
Part of making you feel at home in Madrid is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Madrid staff, your fellow students, and the city of Madrid.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive orientation & re-entry experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. In addition, IES Abroad organizes guided visits around Madrid with Spanish university students and hosts a welcome lunch.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Madrid through our cultural activities, such as:
Although your adventure begins in Madrid, our field trips take you to other great cities around Spain to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in the classroom.
We organize several one to three day field trips for you. Some trips are included in the cost of the program, while other trips are available and may be subsidized by IES Abroad. Past destinations include:
Visit Spain’s third largest city, rich with delicious cuisine, excellent weather, and countless cultural outlets, such as Europe’s newest cultural and scientific complex, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (the City of Arts & Sciences).
Home of the largest national park in Spain, Picos de Europa.
Visit this royal site that was once the residence of the king of Spain as well as a monastery for the Roman Catholic church. The palace is also the burial site for nearly every king and queen since the 16th century.
Site of a Roman aqueduct and historical palaces and churches of Spain’s Golden Age.
Known as the “city of three cultures”—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy that makes the city an open-air museum.
Home to one of Madrid’s most well-known royal palaces and gardens.
Explore the city's rich Moorish architecture and Muslim influences--see the greatest example when you visit the Alhambra.
Bilbao y San Sebastián
The impressive Guggenheim Museum has become the icon of Bilbao; tradition and modernity go hand in hand in this incredible city.
The IES Abroad Madrid Center is located in the heart of the Universidad Complutense’s main campus, inside the San Agustín residence hall. There are two museums — The Museo de América and the Museo del Traje— within walking distance of the Center. Features include:
Elvira MunozIES Abroad Madrid Director
Dr. Elvira Muñoz has been the iEs Abroad Madrid Center Director since 2005. she served a two-year appointment as Associate Director for the Education Abroad program at the University of California Madrid. Her association with the university of California began at UCLA, where she was a Lecturer and Associate Undergraduate Vice Chair of the Mathematics Department, 2000–2002, and visiting Assistant Professor, 1995–2000. Dr. Muñoz received two Distinguished teaching awards during her career at UCLA. She also has taught mathematics at State University of New york at stony Brook, universidad Autónoma de Madrid, universidad Carlos iii de Madrid, and universidad Complutense de Madrid. she holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Mathematics from université Paris Xi, and a B.s. in Mathematics from universidad de Salamanca. Her considerable experience abroad also includes work and study in Germany, Sweden, and Brazil.
IES Abroad Staff
María José CachoAssistant Administration and Student Services
Marta CamachoAcademic Advisor
Yolanda CharlánStudent Affairs Coordinator
Angel LópezStudent Affairs Coordinator
Gemma Muñoz GarciaSenior Academic and Internship Coordinator
Yolanda RealAssistant Director of Administration
Doctor en Ciencias Económicas, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Montserrat Alonso Cuenca,Spanish
M.A. en Filología Hispánica
Juana Anadón Benedicto,History
Doctora en Historia, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Beatriz BuesaFilología Hispánica
Gema Cienfuegos, Ph.D.Spanish LiteratureDoctora en Filología Hispánica,
Javier CuestaSpanish LiteratureFilología Hispánica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Luis Deltell, Ph.D.Doctor en Ciencias de la Comunicación, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Rafael Fernández Sánchez,Economics
Doctor en Ciencias Económicas Profesor, Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio
Antonia Fernández Valencia,History
Doctora en Historia, Profesora, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Javier Huerta Calvo,Spanish Literature
Doctor en Filología Hispánica Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Cristina Iborra Mateo,Spanish Language
M.A. en Periodismo
Licenciada en Filología Inglesa
Amalia López Salso,Spanish Language and Literature
M.A., Humanities, Southern Methodist University; Licenciada en Ciencias Biológicas
Beatriz MariñoArt History
Doctora en Historia del Arte, Profesor
Ana Martín Pascual,Spanish
Licenciada en Filología Hispánica, Advanced Certificate Latin American Literature
José Manuel Matilla Rodríguez,Art History
Licenciado en Geografía e Historia, Conservador del Departamento de Dibujos y Estampas, Museo del Prado
Carlos Nieto, Ph.D.Contemporary HistoryDoctor en Historia, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
José Antonio Nieto Solís,Economics
Doctor en Ciencias Económicas, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
María Pardo Serrano,Spanish Language
Licenciada en Geografía e Historia
Aurora Pastor Martínez,Theater Performance
Licenciada en Ciencias Políticas, Actress
Emilio Peral VegaSpanish Literature
Doctor en Filología Hispánica
Juan Carlos Pereira Castañares,Contemporary HistoryDoctor en Historia, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Rocío Prieto,Filología Hispánica
Antonio SánchezConservador Museo Reina Sofía
José L. Sánchez Noriega, Ph.D.Doctor en Ciencias de la Comunicación, Profesor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Eva SardónFilología Hispánica
Francisco Seijo, PhDPolitical Sciences
Andrés Úbeda,Conservador Museo del Pardo